What are Tie Rod Ends and Boots?

assortment of automotive partsIf you think it’s time for new tie rod ends, or you have been told by a mechanic that the tie rod ends on your vehicle need to be replaced, you may be wondering about these components and what they do. Fortunately, the team at Rudolph Honda is here to explain this and tell you about the warning signs that your vehicle’s tire rod ends and boots are in need of replacement.

The Purpose of Tie Rod Ends and Boots

Tie rods and tie rod end ball joints are what connect the steering rack gearbox to the steering knuckles so the turning input from the driver makes its way to the wheels. Tie rods thread onto the steering rack to also allow for steering alignment adjustments to be made. Ball joints are protected by rubber boots. It may only be necessary to replace a cracked or torn tie rod end ball joint boot instead of the entire joint. Let’s take a closer look at some of the signs that your tie rod ends are beginning to fail.

Tie Rod Ends: Warning Signs

  • Your tires are showing uneven wear patterns – If the wheel camber is not correct, you may notice that the inside or outside tread of your tires is wearing down more rapidly than the rest of the tire tread.
  • The steering feels loose – Do you notice a little disconnect between steering movement and how the wheels and tires react? This is another warning sign of failing tie rod ends.
  • You hear a squealing sound – When turning, do you notice a squealing sound coming from the front of the vehicle? While this high-pitched sound could be nothing more than bad ball joints, it is also possibly a failing tie rod.
  • The tie rod fails – If you notice significant problems with steering, your vehicle will need service right away. It could be a sign of a broken tie rod.

Contact Rudolph Honda for More Information

Whether you have questions about tie rod ends and boots, the steering rack on your vehicle, or steering alignment, the automotive experts at Rudolph Honda would be more than happy to assist you. Feel free to contact us for more information, or set up a service appointment if necessary.

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